Ultimate Review of TOP 3 SharePoint Templates for Intranet and Collaboration


The new SharePoint scenario-based site templates can help you meet a variety of business needs, but only if they’re understood and implemented correctly. So lets get started!

 

What is Microsoft SharePoint Online?

SharePoint Online is software as a service (SaaS) offering from Microsoft. It is a powerful cloud-based „Swiss army knife“ application used for collaboration, storing and sharing content in a secure way. With SharePoint Online you can:

  • Build intranet sites and create pages, document libraries, and lists.
  • Add web parts to customize your content.
  • Show important visuals, news, and updates with a team or communication site.
  • Discover, follow, and search for sites, files, and people across your company.
  • Manage your daily routine with workflows, forms, and lists.
  • Sync and store your files in the cloud so anyone can securely work with you.
  • Catch up on news on-the-go with the mobile app.

All you need is a web browser, such as Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox.

SharePoint Online is available with a Microsoft 365 plan.

What are SharePoint site templates?

SharePoint site templates are prebuilt definitions designed around a particular business need. You can use these templates as they are to create your own SharePoint Intranet site, and then customize the site as much as you want.

Microsoft introduced new scenario-based SharePoint site templates in May 2021. They are helping you to address variety of needs, make it easy to create and populate site content, and show you what’s possible. By taking advantage of the site templates, building nice and good-looking modern intranet sites with out-of-the-box SharePoint components is not a complex task requiring plenty of development efforts anymore. It is something that your business users are now empored to do themselves.

Implementing site templates in your organization guarantees the sites have defined base guidelines, structure, components, content and web parts. Creating sites that follow the established business visual and structural standards will become a routine task for your users.

SharePoint site templates are an addition to the SharePoint look book which has been around for a few years now.

As a SharePoint Online user, you can take advantage of the following SharePoint site templates, we split them into:

  • Communication site templates
  • Team site templates

To help, we will go through various versions so you can make a decission on which SharePoint Site Template fits your requirements best.

Communication site templates:

  • Department – Engage and connect viewers with departmental news and resources.
  • Leadership connection – Build community by connecting leadership and team members.
  • Learning central – Showcase learning and training opportunities.
  • New employee onboarding – Streamline and refine new hire onboarding process.
  • Crisis management – Share news and connect people to resources in a crisis.

Team site templates:

  • Event planning – Coordinate and plan event details with your team.
  • Project management – Create a collaboration space for your project team.
  • Training and courses – Prepare course participants for learning opportunities.
  • Training and development team – Plan opportunities to help others learn and grow.

Of course, these won’t be the only site templates curated by Microsoft, as users can expect more scenario-based templates in the near future.

  • Note: SharePoint site templates provided by Microsoft can be applied only to modern sites!

What are the benefits of using SharePoint site templates?

Site templates currently offer the following features:

  • Can be applied immediately after site creation or can be applied to existing sites.
  • Fully customizable home pages that come with pre-populated content and web parts.
  • News post templates that help users quickly and consistently publish news.
  • Pre-built pages, lists, and document library folders that make it easy to build sites and inspire your own custom content.
  • Each template has its own customization guidance to help site owners and editors get started

How to apply a SharePoint site template?

SharePoint site templates are available in the current and new SharePoint tenants and can be applied by users with the permission level of Site Owner or higher. Whether the user is creating a new site or applying a template to an existing site, they have to navigate to Settings and then select Apply a site template.

SharePoint Site Settings

  • Important: When you apply a template to an existing site, your content will not automatically merge with the new template. Instead, a new default home page will be created along with other new content. Existing pages, libraries, and lists will be saved and can be accessed through Site contents.

Site templates provided by your organization will appear in the From your organization tab when selecting a template type. Customization instructions will vary depending on the site template design.

SharePoint Site Templates

Before applying a template, you will land in a preview page with description and details about the selected site template.

SharePoint Crisis Management

When you are ready to apply the template just click Use template. A progress bar will be shown as below.

SharePoint Applying Template

That’s it! Your site reloads with the new template applied.

TOP 3 SharePoint Templates for Intranet and Collaboration Review

After we learned how to install a template, lets try and help you pick the right one for your business.

Department site template

The Department site template is a communication site designed to serve as an internal home page for departments, divisions, or regions of your organization. Engage and connect viewers with leadership teams, departmental news, highlight upcoming events, and provide easy access to frequently accessed files.

SharePoint Department Sitevorlage

 

SharePoint Department Sitevorlage 2

Department site features:

  • Customizable site that comes with pre-populated images, web parts, and content to inspire site editors when making customizations to fit the need of your organization.
  • Ready-to-use news post templates that make it easy to publish and share departmental news.
  • Pre-populated pages and web parts that showcase leadership, teams, department profiles, company culture, and access to departmental lists, documents, and resources.

Pre-populated site pages and page templates:

  • Home page – Provides a landing place for viewers to engage in departmental news, events, conversation and learn more about leadership and vision.
  • Our leadership – Introduction to departmental leadership profiles. Customize this page by editing Image and Text web parts.
  • Our teams – Overview of teams that work together within the department or division. Customize this page by editing Image, Text, and Quick Links web parts.
  • Vision and priorities – Displays organizational values and priorities at a department level. Customize this page by editing Text web parts.
  • Culture – Highlights departmental culture and ways of working. Customize this page by editing Text and Hero web parts.
  • Documents – Document library provides easy access to departmental resources.
  • Pages – Stores site pages and page Template content.
  • News post templates – Use ready-made news post templates for events recaps and monthly newsletters to quickly share departmental news. Customize these news post templates by editing the Text, Image, People, and Quick Link web parts.

New employee onboarding site template

The New employee onboarding site template is a communication site designed to serve as an internal home page for your human resources department. Streamline and refine your new hire onboarding with this template and guide them through the process smoothly.

SharePoint New employee onboarding Sitevorlage

 

SharePoint New employee onboarding Sitevorlage

New employee onboarding site features:

  • Customizable site that comes with pre-populated images, web parts, and content to inspire site editors when making customizations to fit the needs of your organization.
  • Use a Microsoft List for employee onboarding checklist to ensure your new team member has everything they need to be successful.
  • Use a ready-made news post template for new employee introductions.

Pre-populated site, list, and news post template content:

  • Home page – Provides a landing place for viewers to engage in departmental news, events, conversation and learn more about leadership and vision.
  • Getting Started – Highlights information that will help new employees make the first steps in your organization. Customize this page by editing the Text, Embed, and List web parts.
  • Onboarding Checklist – Features a list to help new employees prioritize onboarding tasks. Customize this page by personalizing the new employee onboarding list template.
  • Who We Are – Highlights information on organizational structure and other foundational department information. Customize this page by editing Text, Quick Links, People, and Bing Maps web parts.
  • Our leadership – Introduction to departmental leadership profiles. Customize this page by editing Text and Image web parts.
  • Our priorities – Displays organizational values and priorities at a department level. Customize this page by editing Text and People web parts.
  • Help and Support – Provide answers to frequently asked questions and helpful links to commonly referenced resources. Customize this page by editing Quick Links and and Text web parts.
  • New employee introduction news post template – Use this ready-made template to easily publish new employee introductions. Customize this page template by editing Text and Image web parts.

Project management site template

The Project management site template is a team site designed to serve as an internal home page for your project team. Create a collaboration space for your team where you can share project updates, post meeting notes, and access team documents.

SharePoint Projects Site Template

Project management site features:

  • Customizable site that comes with pre-populated images, web parts, and content to inspire site editors when making customizations to help teams collaborate.
  • Ready-to-use project status report template that makes it easy to publish and share project updates with your team and partners.
  • Use Microsoft Lists to create a project tracker and issues tracker list to help manage and track project details with your team.

Pre-populated site, list, and news post template content:

  • Home page – Provides a landing place for teams to easily share content, collaborate, and get updates for the project
  • Calendar – Displays the team Outlook calendar
  • Project tracker list – Keep track of all work progress related to your ongoing projects. Customize this list template by editing list text fields.
  • Issue tracker list – Track any issues that may get in the way of the project. Customize this list template by editing list text fields.
  • Document library – Easy and secure access to project files.
  • Recycle bin – Provides access to recently discarded project-related content
  • Status report template – Use this ready-made template to easily publish project status reports to your team. Customize this news post template by editing list Text and Image web parts.

Conclusion

Hopefully we helped you in your step to pick the right theme. If you are missing some information, or would like us to review another template, please let us know.

If you are just getting to know SharePoint site templates or just need more details don’t hesitate to reach for a trusted partner to guide you on that journey. The new SharePoint scenario-based site templates can help you meet a variety of business needs, but only if they’re understood and implemented correctly. Reach out to us at Impactory for a discuss your project idea today!

Additional Resources

  1. Planning your new SharePoint Online information architecture? You can find out more about SharePoint hub sites in our detailed blog post.
  2. Want to find out new some new cool features in SharePoint Online that you don’t have on-prem? Start with the SharePoint Home site.

SharePoint Templates

Department site template

SharePoint in Microsoft 365

New employee onboarding template

SharePoint in Microsoft 365

Project management site template

SharePoint in Microsoft 365

News, activity, discovery

Department

Resources, conversations, people

Team

Announcements, news, collaboration

Team

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